Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

China's platform for 'Asian century'

By Swaran Singh (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-21 07:09

The conference is also set to achieve a lot on the sidelines. Xi and Putin are meeting for the second time this year and are likely to sign about 30 documents, including a massive 30-year deal between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation under which the Russian company will supply China 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from 2018. Similarly, the Iranian president's meetings with Xi and Putin are very important because they will meet in the backdrop of the continued stalemate over the six-nation talks on Teheran's nuclear enrichment capability.

Ban Ki-moon's presence at the conference highlights the need to focus on the climate change summit scheduled for late September in New York, especially the critical role that China could play in combating climate change.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain may highlight to the Chinese leaders the need to strengthen Sino-Pak strategic ties, especially their old proposals of creating an economic corridor from the Pakistani port city of Gwadar to China. India, however, is not represented by its top leader at the conference, because it has just elected a new government. Yet given prime minister-elect Narendra Modi's views on China, the new Indian government is sure to watch the CICA developments closely.

China's successful steering of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization makes it an ideal candidate to further develop CICA under its leadership. The rising number of terrorist attacks in China will prompt Beijing to highlight the threats terrorism poses to countries in general. And since the very first CICA adopted the Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue Among Civilizations and formed the conference's secretariat in Almaty, Kazakhstan, China is now expected to further build on it.

The author is professor for diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

(China Daily 05/21/2014 page9)

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